Lukasz Zelezny Interview: tips for SEO specialists, agencies, and business owners
Running SEO isn’t an easy task. Even professional SEO managers and specialists of digital marketing agencies must keep up to date with the latest trends and such.
We’ve decided to involve an expert with a proven track record to raise some controversial topics. In this article, you will find answers to common questions about maintaining clients if you represent an agency and advice for small business owners who tend to grow online with inbound resources.
What’s your advice for SEO specialists and consulting agencies on how to acquire and maintain clients?
Every client is different. First of all, you should not work with anyone because not everyone will fit you. And this is not something personal. I mean choosing your niche and preferences. For instance, I am mainly working with companies that already have an internal SEO team. I’m helping them to find ways to increase their organic performance.
Sometimes I get requests from clients who have, let’s say, one general online marketing specialist. They usually ask me if I can do anything and everything to improve their SEO efforts. No, I cannot, unfortunately. Because this is not how I work. I am not hands-on anymore. This is because of the fact that we only have twenty-four hours and I need to sleep at least 3-4 hours.
The other thing is that you need to show flexibility because every client has different requirements and problems. Make sure that you know what you are talking about, whatever that might be. Focus on things that make sense in terms of bringing a better impact on performance.
Lastly, I’m not working with people who are religiously tightening themselves to specific keywords. This is not how SEO works.
Have you ever had a customer who you couldn’t bring the desired results to? And how did you manage the situation?
Very rarely. But sometimes there is a problem when the website is too fresh. It doesn’t have any backlinks or any authority. The only thing we can do then is to start building backlinks and authority. But we also need to make sure that the client is patient. They have to understand that at this stage there is no chance to run as fast as they desire.
Imagine that the client’s industry is something like insurance or credit cards, which are very competitive markets. And that’s not the SEOs fault, so which way forward can I suggest? Usually, I will stand back for some time and suggest that the customer try other ways to boost traffic. Usually, through paid advertising or social media.
This might have cost me a client or two, but I think this is how it should be.
What would you say and advise to SEO specialists on how to grow, develop skills, and get better results?
OK, so first of all, never get too comfy. It’s ok to look for better opportunities. For instance, I was quite often changing jobs. And maybe this is not the most popular opinion, but I need to say it.
The salary that the employer is paying you, at least in the UK, is kind of the major factor telling your worth on the job market. You can be the best SEO manager on the planet. But it’s the salary from your previous job that will determine how much you will get paid if you are changing to a new job. Don’t expect anyone to triple your salary, even if you are hired as Head of SEO at a big company.
So you need to improve your skills, work on different projects, and start leveraging your salary. This is very important, but very few people will tell you this. SEO specialists also need to learn some people skills and know-how when it comes to working as a manager with people under you.
I know a couple of people who have never really cared about their salary much. All of a sudden they are in the late 30s with a very low salary. But at some point life is catching up and with that, the frustration comes and so on.
Besides those important things, try to think outside of the box. You can represent your company at conferences and different industry events. You can also organize meetups in your office. That’s quite a common practice, especially in the development field. People are coming to your office from other companies to discuss and exchange ideas in a certain area. This way you can start to build recognition among your peers. It’s quite important nowadays to be recognized, especially in a big city.
And you should always remember that nothing is the end of the world. I put challenging times behind me. I would say that side of me, is me in a nutshell.
A few questions from business owners. How should small website owners promote a local business? Your advice and thoughts.
So Google My Business will be their best friend. There are a couple of simple things that are important. Make sure that you always take care of any reviews – in Google or on any other public platforms, depending on your industry. Reviews are very important for small local businesses.
The second thing is to try to use generic keywords in your business name. Let’s say you run X, Y, Z shop, which is selling men’s shirts and is based in London. Then you should use “ X, Y, Z hyphen Men’s Shirts, London”, or if you’re selling jewelry, you could use “X, Y, Z shop, Gold and Jewelry”.
Also, make sure that you are using as many categories as possible. Don’t settle for just one category for your business.
Here is a very common question from business owners. Is it necessary to hire an agency/SEO consultant or is it possible to do it yourself?
It’s absolutely possible to do it yourself! I know a couple of business owners who are good at SEO and they are absolutely happy to deal with it themselves.
Agencies can be expensive because you hire a couple of specialists in the field. I have nothing against agencies, but they are good for bigger companies and organizations. If you have a small budget, then agencies are probably not the way forward. If you expect to see results immediately, it’s possible that you may get a bit disappointed with an SEO agency.
When can you make use of a consultant or freelancer? If you have some in-house resources, consultants can help you to increase your performance much faster. Freelancers can deal with all the stuff that needs to be fixed, like securing additional content, and so on. It is very important that both sides understand what they are going into.
I’m always open to all my potential clients. I am a consultant. I’m not the guy who will write content or fix broken links. However, I do know people who can do the content writing, for example.
There are a bunch of common pieces of advice that everyone can find in Google on how to rank higher. For instance, “write SEO-friendly content”, “work on backlinks”, etc. That’s very general and not always helpful. Can you share any of your secret tips and best practices on how to see performance improvements?
I would say internal links and semantics. They are the two very important aspects nowadays.
Especially for bigger websites that might be a bit out of date, this can be enough to see great improvement. Even if this is the only thing you do and wait a few days, I would say nine out of ten times you will see an improvement. But as mentioned, we’re talking about a website with at least a little bit of history and domain authority.
What would you like to ask SEO experts about? Share your feedback and questions in the comments below. We will reach out to the best professionals to provide the best answers for you.